A few new favourites (and a fail or four)

Hey ladies.  Who wants to hear about how I bought stuff and some of it was good and some of it was…not so good?

Favourites

“Favourites” might be a bit strong, but “stuff that seems to work as it should and that I therefore like” doesn’t start with “F” and so didn’t suit my alliterative title.

  1. Ecoya candle Black Tulip and Kakadu Plum. I asked my Mum to get me this for Christmas because the big Ecoya candles are kinda spendy.  This is a limited edition scent but honestly I want to get a spoon and dig in because it smells delicious.  I also highly recommend the vanilla scent – I burnt one of these in the bedroom, aka coat room, during my birthday party last year and the smell got more compliments than my outfit.  I’m not even outraged, it smelt amazing.
  2. Manicare Artiste Professional brush Foundation/Concealer Brush 50. I cannot believe I am writing this after openly jeering at these brushes. Manicare has released three new brushes, including this one.  They are softer than the existing brush line and I was having a stressful day at work so I treated myself.  These are ludicrously over-priced at $30 BUT this brush does a great job of blending my creme foundation and I love using it to blend my concealer and highlighter under my eyes too.  I *cough* might buy a back up *cough*.
  3. MaxFactor Whipped Creme Foundation.  I’ve only used this twice so it may be too early to call, but I love this. It doesn’t give high coverage but it does even me out and hides how average my skin looks due to my diet of scones and nectarines. Importantly, it is not annoyingly fragranced.
  4. ArtDeco Cream Rouge. I love a cream blush and this one, which I have in number 32, is good stuff.  It’s somewhat reasonably priced at $18, and there are various colours so should be something to suit most people.  I find it quite buildable and it has satisfactory staying power – I don’t bother putting it in my handbag if I only need it to last a work day.
  5. Sleek Pout Polish.  Unfortunately you have to buy these via the Sleek website and therefore pay shipping, but it can be worthwhile if you buy a few bits and maybe share the shipping with a friend.  This polish is like a coloured lip gloss/balm hybrid, with SPF 15.  I have Perfect Plum and I can either use it as a light wash of colour for day, or smear it on more liberally for a smudgy, don’t care kind of night look.  Only downer is it comes in a little pot, which I think is probably gross since you dip your fingers directly in the product.
  6. www.beautybliss.co.nz – I am RULL excited about this site because they stock my beloved ELF blushes (although in a limited selection of colours).  They also stock other brands that are hard to find, including REAL TECHNIQUES BRUSHES! Now, the prices are obviously higher to compensate for the limited distribution, but delivery was quick and my new matte blush was super handy during the warmer summer days.

Fails

Learn from my errors, so that you can save your monies for the stuff I mentioned above and for drinks with a friend.

  1. Baolishi Elastic mascara. First of all, should I be using mascara I buy for $4 from Japan City? Probably not, but I had such success with other Baolishi mascaras that I thought I would give this a go.  I like my eyelashes quite separated, so this is no good for me because it creates a lightly clumped effect and I don’t have time to comb out my eyelashes of a morning. Would be good if you like a more careless, grungy look.
  2. Orly Primetime.  This claims to be a chip-preventing primer.  It is not. 
  3. MAC lip pencil in Ablaze.  This was limited edition last year and you probably can’t get it anymore, but I’m writing about it anyway because I’m still annoyed with myself about it.  I bought this after MUCH deliberation – these lip pencils are not cheap – because I loved the colour so much.  Turns out, I am somehow allergic to this pencil and it makes my lips peel when I use it.  Not ideal since it is a bright coral-red colour.  I love the colour though so every so often I just suck it up and use it.  Madness.
  4. Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate lipstick in the matte formulation.  I love the standard formulation version of these in the black bullets (try 09 or 05, awesome) so when I saw a matte formulation I just picked a colour I liked (103). BIG mistake.  First of all, this stinks.  There is no way I want to use such a heavily-perfumed product that close to my nose and mouth.  Secondly, the lid won’t stay on which means I have to put it in a make up pouch in my bag and I can’t be bothered with those shenanigans.  The formula itself seems nice – it’s soft and seems like it would be hydrating – but I don’t see myself ever using this up. Disappoint.

Missha The Style Crystal Nail Polish Shocking Pop

I”m a huge fan of Korean cosmetics, so when Missha opened stores (real and online) in New Zealand recently I got a bit overexcited. And having seen the latest nail polish collection from them I”m even more excited.

MisshaTheStyleCrystalPolish

Glitterbombs ahoy! Missha describe these as “minute sandy pearls” viagra for sale in a clear base, and I particularly like the hombre examples they have on their site:

MisshaTheStyleCrystalPolish_2

 

Oh and, rose-scented apparently. I”ll canadian pharmacy viagra have one of each, please. The polishes are available for NZ$16.50 from .

 

O.P.I. San Francisco Collection

Fresh off the production line from O.P.I. is the San Francisco Collection. I have a bit of a soft spot for the name of this collection, because just three months ago I got to visit San Francisco for the first time. Unfortunately it was only a flying visit, on our way through to England. Look, here's me standing beside a cross section of a Golden Gate Bridge cable, complete with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background!

Selina in San Francisco

Anyway, enough reminiscing, here's the collection itself:

OPISanFran

Left to right: A-Piers to be Tan, Dining Al Frisco, Haven't the Foggiest, cheapest viagra Peace & Love & OPI, Keeping Suzi at Bay, Incognito in Sausalito, Lost on Lombard, I Knead Sour-Dough, Muir Muir on the Wall, In the Cable Car-Pool Lane, Embarca-Dare Ya!, First Date at the Golden Gate, It's All San Andrea's Fault, Wharf! Wharf! Wharf!, Alcatraz…Rocks

With 15 polishes, this is one of the larger collections to come out of O.P.I. recently. The three on the right (It's All San Andrea's Fault, Wharf! Wharf! Wharf!, and Alcatraz…Rocks) are O.P.I.'s new Liquid Sand formula. O.P.I. has released quite a few shades in this texture recently and I have yet to try it (I confess to not being particularly tempted by the textured polishes currently hitting the market). However Wharf! Wharf! Wharf! (textured matte blue) looks quite tempting and in fact so does Alcatraz…Rocks (textured grey) so I may just splash out on them. If I do rest assured, there will be swatches.

Other colours piquing my interest are Peace & Love & OPI (I love holos and this is described as holographic sage and eggplant); Keeping Suzi at Bay (navy blue); and Incognito in Sausalito (almost-black blue). Haven't the Foggiest (misty gray) needs to be seen in person I think, as from the pictures I can't tell if it's a shimmer or a metallic.

Which, if any, of these colours are tempting you?

Mint shower gel to help the sick

mintChances are, you're going to get sick this winter. Sorry,  I know that sucks to hear, especially if you or your work has already forked out for a flu shot. It doesn't prevent head colds. Boo. But I do have a thing that will make you feel a guaranteed at least 5% better when you do get sick.

Go buy this Original Source mint & tea tree oil shower gel from any supermarket (I originally bought it cos I liked the packaging, and it smelt nice). Turn off the fan in your bathroom and run the shower for a good ten minutes or so before viagra cheap you get in to make the bathroom insanely steamy (just don't do this too often if you're not the one responsible for cleaning the mold in the bathroom, okay?). Have a really really long shower and lather all over. Breathe deeply. Feel better and less like your head is going to explode? Good!

This body wash will make your skin tingle so I don't recommend shaving with it. The tea tree oil is diluted so it's unlikely to clear up your skin, and soaking in it won't help your thrush. But it will make you feel a little less stuffy, which is always good, right?

And if that's not good enough, grab yourself some vicks vapour rub and put a quarter teaspoon in a bowl, fill the bowl with boiling water, then hold your head under a towel above the bowl for as long as you can. That oughta give you some temporary relief. Don't forget to slather the rub on your chest and under your nose when you go to bed too. Ooooh sexy!

Review: Yes to Blueberries smoothing daily cleanser

blueberries

blueberriesHow could you say no to blueberries (or carrots, or tomatoes or any of the other fruits/veges that make up the companion lines)? I couldn't, when I read there was coconut in this as well, and since I needed a new facewash, and it was only $13, into my Countdown trolley the smoothing daily cleanser  went.

It smells lovely, and is very gentle on my skin. It struggles a little with the massive amounts of black eyeliner I wear if I go out, but then again everything else does too. The one thing I'm not as fond of is the beeswax in the formula. It makes my face feel a little too smooth, which seems unnatural to me. But that's a minor niggle. I will definitely be trying other products in this range, as I run out of other things, and as budget allows.

Review: Max Factor Colour Elixir Giant Pen Stick

MaxFactor-Colour-Elixir-Giant-Pen-StickI love lip colour but because I am super messy, I generally just wear lipgloss, because it's much easier to apply with rough hands like mine. I think giant pen sticks are going to change that.

I was sent one to review, and let me tell you, it is the easiest thing in the world to apply neatly. You outline and then you colour in – you don't even really need a mirror for this, AND it doesn't come off on your teeth or glass (volunteers needed for a pash test though). I scrawled some on before leaving the house one morning and was surprised to discover I was still wearing it at lunch, and it still looked fine. That speaks volumes to me about how it feels as well, not at all drying like most colour-stay stuff.

Here's what Max Factor say about it:

 Launching in 6 super-rich shades, it’s time to unleash your inner-artist to create your boldest glamour statement yet. The easy application of a lipstick bullet tip combined with the convenience of a pencil in a jumbo design; means Colour Elixir Giant Pen Stick is your perfect lip painting tool. The ultra-pigmented formula delivers strong colour, a sculpted tip ensures a precise result whilst the smooth texture means colour glides on effortlessly without bleeding. It’s easy – simply play, experiment, and show off your signature style. You are the artist.

The two things I didn't like about it? I'm not sure how I will sharpen it when I need to (I guess I'll buy a sharpener?) and also the colour. I was sent Princess Pink, which is much paler than I would normally wear, to the point where it's pretty much a nude, as you will see in this fairly unhinged looking picture of me.

too pale lipstick

Yeah I know it's rude to complain about things that are free, so instead, since they're only $17, I will go buy myself a brighter colour and wear that very happily.  

Gillette Spa Venus – an unnecessary update to your favourite razor

venus razor

Clamshell packaging is the WORST.

If you”ve been reading this site for a while, you”ll know that I love the Gillette Venus razor but in its original form. None the less, when I received a Venus Spa Breeze  in a package of goodies from a PR company, I figured I”d give it a good go. First, the official word:

The secret to an easy yet indulgent shave? Venus Spa Breeze. Simply add water for a skin-loving, light lather and a smooth shave—there”s no need for separate shave cream. Even better, the shave gel bars are infused with the fresh scent of white tea to soothe your senses.

The shave gel bars did indeed help the razor glide over my legs, and I didn’t feel any of that hitching you get if you ever stupidly try to shake without lube. However, I do feel like I didn”t get the closest shave possible, because the bars kept the blades from making perfect contact with my skin. That was actually a good thing in my armpits, where I”m more prone to irritation, but my legs didn’t feel as smooth as usual.  They did improve with a buttload of moisturiser though, but I can”t help but feel I will get hairier sooner than usual.

I can see the benefit in not wanting to lug shaving foam around with you, but as  a person who washes her hair every day, I”ll always have conditioner with me that I would use instead. They might be more useful if you shave with a leg propped up on the sink instead of in the shower though, less drippy.

Frankly though, given that regular Venus blades sell for around $15 at Chaffers New World, and the Spa Breeze ones sell for $26, it’s clear that the biggest benefit to this new razor is to Gillette’s bottom line.

Also, and this is a problem with SO many things, but the day that clamshell packaging dies in a fire forever will be a very happy day indeed. Those things are way too hard to get into.

Review: Health basics

While I’m working through products I should have written about a long time ago, I also got sent a bunch of Health Basics products to try. They were celebrating their new look launch, and how they’ve named products after New Zealand locations, and that they’re using local stuff in them. I like a good quote of the press release, so here we go:

Inspired by the beautiful landscapes of New Zealand, the Health Basics personal care range, including body wash, hand wash, and bar soap, has been renewed with new product formulations and smart design features for Kiwis who desire something more indigenous and authentic in their daily wash rituals.

The refreshed range has been renamed after iconic New Zealand locations, while New Zealand- based ingredients such as manuka honey, kiwifruit, pohutukawa extract, harakeke, and avocado oils have been added.

One of the things they mention is how you can easily peel off the labels on the handwash so your bathroom looks less cluttered. Here, let me steal an image from their site to show you what I mean.

picture of label peeling

I’m not sure how many people will do that – it seems like if having a pristine bathroom was that important to you, you’d probably fill your own bottles. I do think though that having the bodywash on a rope is bloody great, because man, my shower caddy is overflowing with products.  And their website is really pretty and easy to navigate.

But enough with the aesthetics, how are the products? Well, I took a bottle of the Wanaka daybreak hand soap away with me for a group holiday with a big bunch of people at New Year’s, and I chopped a lot of onions. The soap absolutely removed all oniony smell from my hands every time. I was very impressed. Definitely a product you might want to put by your kitchen sink.

Meanwhile the Opito Bay bodywash foams up really nicely with a puff for leg shaving, which is an important requirement for me in a body wash. I don’t love the smell of jojoba, but I might try the Ruby Bay Sunset or Akaroa Sunset milk & honey varieties once this one runs out.

I like how in their FAQ they talk about how the products are made in NZ, that they’re not tested on animals and they make it clear what products are suitable for vegans (all but the milk & honey). You should look out for Health Basics in your supermarket, and buy the ones that smell good to you. Excellent.

Review: Trilogy balancing cleanser

Triology gel cleanserLast year (yes, I am the WORST) I was contacted by Health2000, and asked if I wanted to review some products for them. Of course I would, I said, so they sent me some Trilogy balancing cleanser. The courier package went astray, so I had to go to the depot to collect it, and the depot was closed, and then it was Christmas, and then my girlfriend and I broke up, and all the lights in the world went out, and then work got insanely busy, and and and. And throughout that time, I was washing my face using the cleanser, so I feel very qualified in writing about it now. But first, their description:

Dosage: daily

Description: Say hello to soft, fresh skin and goodbye to dryness and irritation with this uplifting and refreshing gel cleanser.

Benefits: Leaves the skin feeling fresh, clean and velvety soft Helps to balance the skin without drying.

This is a very gentle cleanser, which is a good thing, although it  loses in the fight against the insane amounts of black

eyeliner I tend to wear. I do definitely still moisturise after using it, but I don”t feel like my skin would flake off if I managed to lose all my moisturisers under a pile of clothes and couldn’t retrieve them before I had to run out the door to work, and that”s a good thing. I”m not the biggest fan of the smell of it, because I think I don”t like comfrey (it smells a bit like chamomile tea, which I dislike the smell of), but it”s not unpleasant. I definitely like the feeling of it on my skin, and use it happily most days (mixing it up with a scrub, and also a Karen Murrell face wash, because I get bored very easily). I don”t know if I would pay $42.50 for it though. In fact, I know I wouldn”t, because I am lucky enough to have skin that generally gets on just fine with supermarket price products.

Health2000 stocks a number of brands we”ve reviewed before, like Trilogy, Living Nature and Antipodes, and so you might like the convenience of being able to buy them all at once.

WFW winner

Hi ladies

Thanks for your entries!  The winner is…

WFW giveaway

Congratulations Hereni!  Flick me an email with your address and I’ll post out your goodies.

Coming up: the trends from WFW, and three designers to start saving up for.